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Book Paints Unflattering Portrait of Disney's Iger - LA Times, 2/7/05


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  • Book Paints Unflattering Portrait of Disney's Iger - LA Times, 2/7/05

    This is an amazing article, I strongly suggest you read the entire thing...

    Walt Disney Co. launched its overhauled website early Tuesday, a week after the Jan. 29 target date.

    In one passage of the book, Stewart describes a pivotal meeting of the Disney board in September 2002, during which Eisner continued an alleged pattern of expressing reservations and even outright opposition to Iger's promotion to CEO. At the meeting, which Iger attended, Eisner complained about dissident directors Roy E. Disney and Stanley P. Gold, who would later resign from the board and lead a shareholder revolt against him.

    "Stanley and Roy are trying to get rid of me. They don't think I can run this company. But who do you think can? Bob?" Eisner asked, turning to Iger and adding dismissively, "Bob can't run this company."

    After an awkward silence, Stewart reports, some directors looked shellshocked and the meeting was quickly adjourned. The next day, Iger received a note from Roy Disney, saying: "I've never seen anyone treated so badly."

    In August 1999, while vacationing on Martha's Vineyard, he received a "worried phone call" from Disney board member Thomas Murphy. Murphy was Iger's mentor and had been his boss when they ran Capital Cities/ABC before Disney's acquisition of the company.

    Murphy told Iger, who then headed ABC, that he and other board members had recently talked to Eisner about succession. The Disney chief used the opportunity to "launch a long catalog of Iger's weaknesses and faults," Stewart writes. Murphy quoted Eisner as saying that Iger lacked "the stature" to head Disney and could "never succeed me."

    "I hate to tell you this," Murphy told Iger, according to the draft, "but you have to leave. Michael doesn't want you at the company."

    The subject of ABC's performance also came up during a two-day board retreat in 2003 at Walt Disney World, according to Stewart, and provided Eisner with another opportunity to question Iger's leadership ability and creative skills.

    When Iger left after giving a presentation on ABC's ratings woes, the talk turned to succession. "If I had to choose," Eisner said, "it would not be Bob."
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at

  • #2
    James B. Stewart's "DisneyWar"
    Sounds interesting. It also sounds like they've started some controversy that the LA Times picked up on to advertise the book.


    • #3
      Here is a good quote from Mikey....

      Eisner's contempt was directed further down the Disney food chain as well, according to Stewart's manuscript. In one passage, he calls his theme park executives "monkeys." "They don't have any brains; they're not that smart," Eisner is quoted as saying. "It's a simple business."
      Check out my Theme Park Photos at


      • #4
        Here is part of the Synopsis of the book "Disney War"...

        Barnes & Noble’s online bookstore for books, NOOK ebooks & magazines. Shop music, movies, toys & games, too. Receive free shipping with your Barnes & Noble Membership.

        Drawing on unprecedented access to both Eisner and Roy Disney, current and former Disney executives and board members, as well as thousands of pages of never-before-seen letters, memos, transcripts, and other documents, James B. Stewart gets to the bottom of mysteries that have enveloped Disney for years...

        Stewart describes how Eisner lost his chairmanship and why he felt obliged to resign as CEO, effective 2006. No other book so thoroughly penetrates the secretive world of the corporate boardroom. DisneyWar is an enthralling tale of one of America's most powerful media and entertainment companies, the people who control it, and those trying to overthrow them.

        And from the same link, a review from Janet Maslin of the New York Times

        The book describes an Eisner-dominated atmosphere of nonstop conflict and bickering, punctuated by the occasional stinker ("Pearl Harbor"), gold mine ("The Lion King") or missed opportunity ("The Sopranos"). It tells a messy, fractious story complete with its own Seven Dwarfs: Sneaky, Screamy, Pushy, Greedy, Grabby, Nasty and Snarky. Snow White is nowhere to be seen.
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        • #5
          And here is a link to the LA Times Book Review of "Disney War"

          Check out my Theme Park Photos at


          • #6
            I am totally and completely loving this. I am also ordering the book right now.:devil:

            Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
            Benjamin Franklin


            • #7

              "DisneyWar," James B. Stewart's expose of Michael Eisner's 20-year tenure at Disney, arrived in bookstores Wednesday -- three weeks ahead of schedule.
              Publisher Simon & Schuster, which had sought to preserve a publicity campaign tied to the original release date of March 7, decided earlier this week to accelerate publication.

              Some Los Angeles bookstores sold their stock of "DisneyWar" in one day, including Dutton's locations in Brent wood and Beverly Hills, as well as Barnes & Noble at the Grove. Each bookstore got roughly 80 copies and has already put in a new order for the weekend.

              "I wish we had more of them. We got some Wednesday and sold out within an hour," Dutton's general manager Ed Conklin said. "We got more in today, which also sold within an hour.

              "We knew it would be a big book, but we had no idea it would be this big," Conklin said. "Obviously, this is an industry town. People were buying multiple copies."

              Stewart, who was skedded to appear for an exclusive interview on NBC's "Today" in early March, began scrambling this week to revise his promotional schedule. He's now expected to appear on "Today" next Tuesday and Wednesday.
              Picked up my copy at the Barnes and Noble at Hazard Center in San Diego today, I have a lot to read this weekend
              Check out my Theme Park Photos at


              • #8
                I am about 150 pages into "Disney War", but let me share you a comment Mikey made. (Last 2 paragraphs of Chapter 1, page 55)

                As the dinner concluded, Gold made a toast to new management. Wells handed out elegant Mickey Mouse watches engraved with September 22, 1984, the date of the pivotal board meeting. "Thank You," he said to Roy and Gold. "We know you're responsible for our being here."

                "Anytime we disappoint you, just tell me," Eisner added. "You got me this job. I'll never forget it. If I ever lose your confidence, let me know, and I'll resign."
                Why doesn't Mikey live up to his promises.....
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